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Libyan Newswire

Cameron Promises UK Warship to Libya to Fight People Smuggling

Sputnik News

14:55 27.05.2016(updated 15:00 27.05.2016)

The UN backed unity government in Tripoli has called on the UK government to help target and stop the increased number of migrant smugglers in Libya.

The G7 Summit in Japan this week has led to fresh talks to help rebuild Libya and restore their navy and coastguard in order to stop the increase in migrant smugglers.

Libya, an oil rich country, was under the control of Col Muammar Gaddafi up until 2011. A NATO-led ousting of the Libyan leader led to instability and no authority in full control.

The National Transitional Council (NTC), a rebel leadership council which had fought against the Gaddafi government, declared Libya, liberated in October 2011. However, struggling to maintain power, the NTC passed control over to the General National Congress (GNC) in 2012.

Following Gaddafi’s death, the West was widely criticized for not offering the new Libyan government more support to deal with opposition groups as the fighting in the country escalated.

In 2014, voters chose the Council of Representatives (CoR) to replace the GNC and at this time Daesh also took advantage of the conflict, seizing several costal sites in the country.

In 2015, the UN agreed to start a unity government that would help establish some stability and law within Libya.

Smuggling Refugees

Due to the on-going conflict and unrest, the country saw an increase in refugees and migrants taking the dangerous journey to reach to the Europe, while many travelledthrough the use of smugglers. Political leaders at the G7 Summit have agreed that to move Libya forward, more must be done to help prevent the increase of smugglers transferring migrants.

UK PM David Cameron has said he will send warships to Libya to curb the smugglers power. Cameron’s spokesperson said the warships will assist in providing a solution to the current situation.

“(The Prime Minister will) make the argument it is a global challenge requiring a comprehensive solution, reiterate our determination to work with the Libyan government and help them build the capacity of their coastguard to help them intercept boats off the Libyan coast,” the spokesman said.

The spokesperson also said that taking an active role in this situation is vital.

“We will now take an active leadership role in that process… Once the relevant UN security resolutions are in place, we intend to deploy a navy warship to the region to assist in the interception of arms and human smuggling,” the spokesman said.

These latest comments from the PM come a few months after US President Barack Obama said that Cameron was distracted at the time of the Libya conflict. In a recent interview, Obama said that before the war broke out in Libya, Europe and and a number of Gulf countries expressed concern with Gaddafi’s regime and called for action.

“But what has been a habit over the last several decades in these circumstances is people pushing us to act but then showing an unwillingness to put any skin in the game… free riders,” Obama said.

Both the UK and the US have been criticized for their intervention in Libya, which led to it becoming a failed state.

© Sputnik

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